Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 35° Partly Cloudy
News >  Washington Voices

From Homemade Volcanoes, Great Ambition Will Flow

Sabrina Kinyon never was content to make your everyday childhood volcano.

She wanted one that would really blow up.

“I made a huge mess in the kitchen,” she said.

That was when she was 7.

Now a senior at East Valley High School and a Running Start student, Kinyon is doing research in the bio-technology program at Eastern Washington University.

“I always liked science,” Kinyon says. She’s set a goal of attending an undergraduate school back East and eventually earning a doctorate.

Her research project this year - something she says she downsized from its orginal scope - is to grow and isolate bacteria with a high tolerance for accumulating zinc. The work could lead eventually to a tool for clean up of the heavy metal from contaminated soil.

“Her research has been brilliant, considering she doesn’t have the advantage of several years of college,” said Prof. Don Lightfoot of EWU’s bio-technology program. “She’s very focused, very excited about what’s she’s doing.”

Kinyon started into the research last spring through East Valley’s scientific research class. Her first month, she concentrated on mastering a dyeing technique so that she could identify the proper bacteria. Once or twice a week trips to Cheney turned into three times a week.

“She’s a great kid,” said Jon Swett, former science teacher at East Valley and now assistant principal at North Central High School. “She doesn’t understand what quitting or giving up means.”

She is taking just one class at East Valley this fall, advanced computer literacy. Between classes at EWU and Spokane Community College, she also finds time for jazz dance lessons.

The break away from her high school has gone easily, as Kinyon’s two best friends are also taking classes at SCC. Some of her college classes have been fairly easy, she said, some challenging. Either way, she said, her grades have been better in college than in high school.

Kinyon also could be a poster child for today’s burgeoning school-to-work movement.

Her parents, Kyle and Susan Kinyon, own Allegro Escrow, a business they started during Sabrina’s childhood. She remembers how she and her sister would ride their bikes at her parents’ sides as they distributed fliers for their new business.

“It’s been interesting for me growing up,” she said. “I realize how much time it takes to start a business.”

Kinyon also listened to her parents debate which job candidates to hire. She realized the value of communicating clearly and in complete sentences.

“One of the things I noticed was that Mom was always complaining about people who said ‘um’ all the time. So I decided not to say it.”

She worked for her parents, too.

“I wasn’t treated any differently than anyone else, other than having a little more flexibility about getting days off.”

, DataTimes

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.